Peyton Wilhoit Extends New Year's Invitational Lead
Southern Illinois sophomore Peyton Wilhoit <br>(Souther Illinois Athletics Photo)
Southern Illinois sophomore Peyton Wilhoit
(Souther Illinois Athletics Photo)

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (January 6, 2017) -- Peyton Wilhoit continues to lead the New Year's Invitational after backing up his opening round 65 with a 4-under 68 for an 11-under total.

The Southern Illinois sophomore has had no issues so far with St. Peterbsurg Country Club and currently leads Middle Tennessee State sophomore Chip Thomas by two shots heading into the 3rd round. Thomas opened with 68 and then tied the round-two low with a 67 for a 9-under total.

Sitting in solo third just three shots shy of the leader is Jeg Coughlin III. The Ohio State freshman earned himself a spot in the final pairing tomorrow with a 3-under 69 to back up his opening 5-under 67. University of Missouri junior Hayden Buckley and 14-year-old University of Florida commit Joseph Pagdin sit tied for 5th at 7-under while LSU's Brandon Pierce lurks 5-shots behind at 6-under.

The Mid-am division is being paced by Chip Brooke who turned things around today with a 5-under 67 after opening with 75. He leads by one over first-round leader Troy Vanucci.

Jimmy Jones Sr., father of last year's championship division winner Jimmy Jones, currently leads the senior division after back-to-back rounds of 70. His only close challengers are Dennis Monahan and Marshall Gordon who trail by one shot.


With a 7-under 65 Peyton Wilhoit has taken a one-stroke first round lead at the New Year's Invitational being hosted by St. Petersburg Country Club. Wilhoit, a sophomore at Southern Illinois, was an All-Missouri Valley Conference performer last year after finishing fifth at the conference championships.

Harrison Shih is in second place following a 6-under 66 that has him that one shot off the pace. Shih is one year out of college at Columbia where he was the 2016 Ivy League Player of the Year. During his final season for the Lions, Shih set the all-time program mark with a season scoring average of 72.00.

Missouri junior Hayden Buckley is presently in third place after a Thursday 4-under 68 that leaves him two behind. Buckley is looking to play himself back into form after being injured at the start of the fall season.

The top-5 is rounded out but four players --14-year-old Florida commit Joseph Pagdin, Greyson Porter (Florida State), Chip Thomas (Middle Tennessee) and Brandon Pierce (LSU).

Defending champion Jimmy Jones of South Florida opened with an even-par 72. He is seven behind Wilhoit.

After the first round Tony Vanucci, with a 2-under 70 leads the Mid-Amateur Division by one-stroke while Jimmy Jones Sr. and Gordon Marshall pace the Senior Division following 2-under 70's.

Jones Sr. is the father of reigning champion Jimmy Jones.

Results For New Year's Invitational Golf Tournament
1MSHayden BuckleyTupelo, MS70068-69-71-74=282
2ARPeyton WilhoitSearcy, AR50065-68-76-75=284
T3TNChip ThomasKnoxville, TN40068-67-77-74=286
T3NJHarrison ShihSaddle River, NJ40066-73-70-77=286
5PhilippinesLloyd Jefferson GoPhilippines40071-72-73-71=287

View full results for New Year's Invitational Golf Tournament

ABOUT THE New Year's Invitational

Historic invitational golf tournament that originated on the Lakewood golf course in 1927. This same amateur invitational tournament -- which attracts top Florida amateurs and a strong group of out-of- state players as well -- continues, unbroken, each year although the club name was later changed to St. Petersburg Country Club.

View Complete Tournament Information

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